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The Bartender Re-education Plan took a break but now that the holidays are pretty much over, so are the excuses. You must make 1,000 Negronis before you ever change the 1:1:1 ratio. Changing the ratios changes the recipe. Using dry vermouth instead of sweet is not a Negroni. Using some amaro other than Campari is not a Negroni. And subbing out gin, really makes it not a Negroni. The path to being a better bartender is understanding the brands and techniques of the Negroni, not in changing the ratios. I want my Negronis always in equal parts, yet I always want them balanced, this can be achieved but understanding flavor. There are 2 ways for a Negroni to be made: stirred and up or stirred and strained over fresh ice.
How do you make these 2.5 styles?
- AmericanO- In the beginning (before the Negroni) there was an Americano Highball. This is sweet vermouth, Campari and soda. It is the perfect pre meal cocktail that never was. The Americano Highball can only be ordered from good bartenders, however you normally want to order something better from good bartenders. It is said the Negroni was invented when Count Camillo Negroni wanted his Americano Highball with gin instead of soda. That substitution is for winners.
- European- Rocks. The Euro-Negroni is on the rocks, if chianti or lasagna is on the menu expect a Negroni or the rocks. But TWIST! This Negroni is often shit! Why? because you can’t pour 3 oz of room temp booze over ice to get a good cocktail. The ice with immediately begin to melt, thus producing a watery, and warm cocktail. You must stir and strain an ICE COLD cocktail over fresh ice, pouring cold over cold maintains the proper balance in the cocktail.
- American- It has been the general consensus in American bartending that every drink is better chilled and served up. That is the way of the American Negroni. But I feel that an exception to this rule arises in drinks that are sweeter, with a high sugar content. Those drinks (Negroni included) are awful when they warm up and they live longer on ice. Other examples of sticky drinks that seem to do better on ice would be the Rusty Nail, The Godfather or other all spirit fern bar, “classics.”
What is the technique needed?
- Stirred- a Negroni is stirred and strained into a chilled glass or over fresh ice. To shake a Negroni is to have thick sliced truffles, under cooked foie gras or burlap lingerie; don’t ruin luxuary
- Zest- The orange zest is the 4th ingredient. Campari and vermouth don’t have a strong scent; gin does, but not when paired with these 2 sweet bottles. The orange zested over the cocktail treats your nose to the cocktail.
What are the other variables?
- Gin- There are 3 legal definitions of gin, arguably 6 or 7 styles (not including genever) and over 100 brands on the market in America with a new one made by a micro-distiller every week. What I’m saying: pair your gin with your vermouth. More subtle gins need more subtle vermouths. Larger, earthier or more herbal gins can stand up to the big very sweet vermouths.
- Vermouth- Without brand bashing, some gins would be completely un-recognizable as gins when paired with too flavorful of a vermouth. In addition to which, the Negroni is a drink that must be treated like a cocktail that has a fresh product in it: vermouth. Vermouth left out at room temperature goes bad like milk and I don’t see a sour cream White Russian catching on anytime soon. No amount of technique and no price point of boutique gin can save a Negroni from bad vermouth.
What does it mean to get, “Negronked?”
Getting Negronked is term for a lexical gap I have found in the English Language for, “getting drunk on fancy drinks.” I coined this one about 5 years ago and it has been an uphill battle. But I implore you, next time you go out to hit the fancy bars, remember, “get Negronked!”
- 1 oz Gin
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 1 oz Campari
- Stir and strain over fresh ice or into a chilled cocktail class
- Garnish with an orange zest
After all of that, of course you can change the ratios. But it is the last thing to practice in Negroni crafting, you need to understand the rules before you break them.
In an effort to not only throw hate into the universe, I have started a Bartender Reeducation Program. If you’re not familiar with this act of charitable giving, check out this explanatory blog post.
Many friends and readers got back to me on the Daiquiri Bartender Reeducation Program. Some stories came back heartfelt like, ”The bartender was confused, but we were both happy with the cocktail.” Others came back with a more scathing stories like, “The damn thing came out clear as a bell, and it was only rum.” I even think someone tested me and ordered an, “Aged rum Daiquiri” with “your favorite aged rum.” He was only able to drink half of the Navy-strength Smith & Cross Daiquiri, but I loved making it and he liked the half that he could handle. So? A mixed bag was the outcome at best, but it’s getting us back on the path of good drinks everywhere.
This month I thought it would be wise to make July’s reeducation drink even easier and feature a Tom Collins.
Some time in July go into a bar with a television and ask the human standing behind the bar, “Can I get a Tom Collins? You know, just gin and soda with a squeeze of lemon, and a dash of sugar.”
The Tom Collins is a dusty feature in every bar book and worthy of being poured from pitchers in hot summer months. It is also a testament to how far the bar business has fallen that Tom Collins mix is still available.
I was in the grocery store yesterday listening to a group of newly minted 21 year olds try to figure out what to mix with vodka for their Fourth of July festivities. Had I been in my bartender costume I would have steered them to the produce section for lemons, we would have found ice, sugar and soda and they would have a great holiday. But, bereft of my contact lenses, I stood there as Clark Kent and let them buy Redbull.
Tom Collins is easy enough for anyone to become friends with. The way I see it, there are really only two key steps to getting it right.
- Use a Collins glass: Effervescent drinks need to stay bubbling, and a tall glass that pushes perlage up is key number one.
- Fill the glass completely with ice: The Tom Collins needs to be undiluted and ice cold, so as much ice as you can get into the glass is key number two.
Other than those two key steps, the Tom Collins is just a simple mix of Gin, Lemon Juice, Sugar and Soda Water. Really couldn’t be easier, add the ingredients any way you like, go light on the lemon and sugar to let the Gin shine.
The mythos of the Collins is assumed to be from mixing up Old Tom Gin with the very fancy new invention of the time: soda water. And, in doing so, it created a template that works with every spirit.
Here is a list of the more common variations on the template:
Vodka Collins or Comrade Collins — with vodka — Ostrovia!
Tom Collins — with gin — Cheers!
Brandy Collins (I call this one Jacque) — with cognac — A Votre Sante!
Juan or José Collins — with tequila — Salud!
Jack Collins — with applejack — Have a wicked pissah!
John Collins — with bourbon — Yee Haw!
Michael Collins — with Irish-whisky — Guild Forder!
Ron Collins — with rum — Fuck Embargos!
Sandy Collins — with Scotch-whisky — Slàinte!
Phil Collins — with 7-Up or Sprite. It is a mocktail — SusuSudio!
Jallu Collins — with jaloviina — Opa!
Here is a list of variations I made up:
Jin Collins — with sake — Kampai!
Erik Collins — with akavit — Skol!
Jonah Collins - with Manischewitz — L’Chaim!
For the record, Jonah Collins is legit if you omit the extra sugar.
Lastly a note on garnish, do so. At least get a cherry in this thing, I like to add and orange too even though a lemon would be more traditional. To avoid flashbacks to college try using a good gin. You’ll find a whole new drink.
Simple Pleasures: Classic drinks are classics for a reason, simplicity. And respect the grandma.
Recently, I just like to make drinks out of the Mr Boston drink book. Not true really, I haven’t opened the book since a brutish cannuk ordered a, “wet pussy*,” from me, and I had to make a to do about looking it up. But seriously, these days I mostly want only to drink and to make the most simple drinks possible. Conversely, I most admire people for can balance seven or ingredients in a way that I can taste all of them, so far only Jim Romdall and Daniel Shoemaker are the only bartenders I know that can do this. But I feel like the karate kid approach to bar training is the only way.
It may seem stupid, but I need to show a picture of a 70 year old grandma to every bartender on his first day. The grandma will have a perm, large owl like glasses, and in the picture, she will be smiling and handing a birthday card to you that certainly has $5 inside. This picture of this truly happy grandma, at peace is the joy a young bartender can give if said bartender can make Stinger properly. Most bartenders under 60 have made 3 or 4 stingers in their lives. The first singer was out of curiosity, and the next 3 were funded by social security checks. 2 ingredients, pretty simple, then why do people make the drink so wrong? Well, as I already have explained in previous entries, technique, balance and love.
The Stinger Cocktail Recipe:2oz brandy, .5oz white crème de menthe, SHAKE fine strain and smile, it’s a simple drink.
I won’t go into a 4 paragraph rant on how to make the grandma happy (write letters and call) I’ll just say, if you want to be a great, you must be able to make the simplest drinks with great perfection. Here are 6 base spirits and a drink for each that nobody cares about, and why when made well I love them more than any foam, caviar or infused article worthy drink.
I’m not cool like the mixologists, when regular bartenders swing by to say hi, or I go to a rock club to have a shot with my bartender pal, I do a shot of whatever they are having, 10% Jager, 30%Jameson and at least 60% a chilled shot of vodka**. I love a chilled shot of vodka. In moderation, a chilled shot of vodka even masks the quality of bad vodka, but not the hangover. On rare occasion, I’ve even been known to do a shot of Absolut Grapefruit but only with the most beautiful bartender.
The Gimlet*** is the amazing. This is not the time for history or sailors and surgeon generals and limeys. I prefer fresh limes to Rose’s but either way to make a perfectly balanced Gimlet is very difficult. Too much lime makes a drink indistinguishable from a Kamakazi, too little makes it bitter and astringent. To make the drink correctly the gin’s botanicals need to be enhanced by lime and the citrus cut by just a small amount of sugar.
I’ve taken a mid day 3 Mojito**** nap and its great. Bacardi can be thanked for bringing back the Mojito and cursed for making everybody think they can make one all slapdash. Again, I won’t start to talk about crushed ice vs cubed of how much mint or who invented this drink, the key to making a Mojito is to put the “b” in subtle. I can put Kold Draft ice in a mixing tin and muddle it into crushed ice, I am strong and I am bragging. This skill is of no use when handling the delicate mint going into a Mojito. Oils are bitter, and the more herbs or citrus are beaten, the more they become bitter and require more sugar. Mojitos are delicate and transparent, not the color of the Margarita.
The Margarita***** is the most complex flavored drink that has but 3 ingredients. Tequila’s bouquet is dynamic, evil, silky and sexy. If you can’t see that in tequila then you are doing it wrong. As I said in earlier you need to taste the tequila, otherwise drink a Kamakazi. Salt is the most controversial part of a Margarita, salt is a garnish, and let me set forth a rule for all to follow, a garnish never goes in the drink, that makes it an ingredient. This is my sly way to say, salt only goes on the outside of the glass. There are 2 more failings of the common Margarita, they are retaining ice used to mix the drink and sour mix. Sour mix, don’t, just don’t use fresh, that’s simple. Retaining ice, never do this, strain drinks over fresh ice every time.
The Manhattan****** is my beer. I almost exclusively order Manhattans with crappy whiskey. I do this in airports, dinners and nowherevilles the nation over. If mixed properly the cheap Manhattan has just the right sweetness of bitters and vermouth and still delivers a couple ounces of pretty bourbon, rye if you are lucky. Stirred cocktails are generally the most mis-made of all. 1.-Gentle stirs, 2.-2 dashes of bitters 3.- 20% -33% vermouth and 4. -always strained. 1. Don’t bruise it, don’t shake cocktails. 2. Non bitters, no Manhattan 3. Love vermouth, keep it fresh in the fridge. 4. Men fear cocktail glasses, lame. People who use cocktail glasses are better lovers. Cocktails on the rocks are sloppy and gross.
For me the Sidecar******* is the cocktail that best shows quality ingredients affecting the outcome of a cocktail. Cognac and Cointreau trump non-descript California brandy and triple sec every time. Play with a drink how you think it is and then replace it with the good stuff, most times, when the technique is there, it pays to pay more.
*Wet Pussy Cocktail Recipe-an unfortunately real drink
1.5oz Yukon Jack-I used Bookers and lemon bitters and a dash of simple instead
1oz Grapefruit Juice-I used fresh squeezed
1 Dash grenadine-house made of course
Shake and Strain
Despite the tasteless name, I was an ok drink
-vodka bottle in the freezer, works everytime
.25oz Fresh Lime
.25oz Simple Syrup
Shake and Strain
1.5oz Light Rum
.5 oz Fresh Lime
.5oz Simple Syrup
2 full mint sprigs given a light smack
build over ice, top with a touch of soda
1.5 oz Tequila
.5 oz Fresh Lime
.5oz your choice-Agave Nectar-Coitreau or Simple Syrup
shake and strain
rim out side of cocktail glass with sat
.5oz Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Stir and strain, Cherry garnish
.5oz Fresh Lemon
shake and strain, try to forgo the rimmed glass
The recipe for a Vesper, a lesson in technique.
A friend of mine asked me “the Zig Zag Vesper: I adore Murray’s version. I don’t suppose you have any inkling how he does it? I’m trying to recreate as closely as possible on a trip to Los Angeles. (Otherwise we’d just plop ourselves down at the bar at Zig Zag.)”
I quickly responded:
“I’m sure, he makes it 1.5 oz gin, .5 vodka and between .5 and .25 Lillet Blanc, the drink is traditionally shaken, but true form would stir such a drink, I don’t know which he does. Then it gets s a heavy lemon zest. If you don’t zest the lemon over the glass, you are fucking up” “There are supposedly no “good” bars in la, so good luck, also my favorite way to make the drink is to use a very citric or high proof gin like martin miller’s, a vegetal style potato vodka like luksosowa or Chopin and I always go heavy on the Lillet, even though the recipe says “splash” that was when drinks were smaller, so I feel that .5 is acceptable” “And that is the vesper, bond says shake it for texture, though that is the wrong procedure, you’ll find most bartenders shake everything anyway. So really that’s one that you can’t go wrong except that you must shake it furiously if you shake and stir gently if you stir, but now I am ranting” “Does that make sense?”
I thought that was better than a glance at the Internet, but she had another question:
“Basically. I’m actually buying the liquor–so no limits from the barkeeps, just my own finesse. A couple of recipes mention bitters, etc. I’m assuming ski it? And I can go with a stir, but I’m not totally sure what that means.”
I then responded:
“It 2 am, frankly I’m drunk, tomorrow is my first day off in 16 days. I’ll explain it very thoroughly tomorrow”
In my defense I just opened a new bar called Naga in the re-opening restaurant Chantanee and I was tired. Upon awakening I thought to myself, “hey Brett Favre, how to you throw a football?” He seems a down to earth guy, I reckon he’d say: “I just cock my arm, see where I want it to go and throw it.” This is true for Brett Favre, perhaps a more in-depth answer would be: “well, Andrew, I’ve been in the NFL for 17 years, played for South Miss before that, and high school ball before that, and frankly, I am a professional quarterback, its what I do, almost half my life has been dedicated to being good at that one thing.” And with Brett Favre’s inspirational ghost sitting on my shoulder, I wrote this back:
Here is everything that one would need to know about how to make a vesper and the proper technique, seriously, this is everything that goes through my head when I make a drink. A vesper is a cocktail that needs to be strained in a chilled cocktail glass, a martini glass is a glass with a martini in it, a martini is a combination of gin and vermouth and sometimes-orange bitters. A martini needs to be strained into a chilled cocktail glass. What I’m trying to say, is that there is only one instance when is proper to call a glass a martini glass, that is when it has said cocktail, is indeed strained into a cocktail glass. A chilled cocktail glass is essential, otherwise, you go to the trouble of carefully marrying booze with cold, and only to warm is again when you put it in the glass. Chill glasses in the freezer or fridge, or quick chill them as we say by filling them with ice and water. There are two ways to execute the vesper, the way in the book and the way that a real bartender would make it.
Book: shaken real: stirred.
This has nothing to do with not shaking vermouth or gin; it has everything to do with what ingredients are used. When all ingredients are clear, aka, booze, the drink must be gently stirred as to keep the texture silky smooth and free of air bubbles.
Whenever you mix in a juice or syrup, the ingredients must be shaken. While every drink need not be shaken furiously, you should shake until the shaker frosts and try to get this done as soon as possible (by shaking hard). But understand that I routinely make whipped cream in a shaker by adding cream sugar and ice and shaking until the ice is gone, my point is if you shake too long the ice will be the water in your drink. For stirring: get a mixing glass (again, when it is filled with beer we call it a pint glass), fill it with cracked ice, crack the ice by hand just before you drop it into the glass.
For Stirring: Cracking ice on stirred drinks maximized the surface area of ice to booze but you still get the cold from the ice of the fresh ice. When stirring, stir for at least 30 seconds, and when stirring think of the booze as stationary and that you are moving the ice through it. When stirring, understand that the point is to introduce no air into the drink. When straining from glass, you use a julep strainer; place it inside the glass and strain into the chilled cocktail glass
For Shaking: get a Boston shaker that is the one that is glass and metal. To use a cobbler shaker, a 3 piece metal shaker, is an art that I’ll go out on a limb and say that hardly any American bartender understands, let alone the novice (the Japanese have mastered this art, it is called the hard shake). That being said, cobbler shakers are pretty and it’s nice to have one around. A Boston shaker however is a mixing glass and a tin that fits over it, build the drink over cubed ice (it will break when you shake it) attach the tin to the top firmly and shake with 2 hands, one holding the end of each part of the mixer. Never shake a Boston shaker with the glass end pointing at a person. When you have formed the frost on the tin turn the shaker so that all of the drink is in the tin with the butt of the glass pointing up. To remove the glass twist it, if this doesn’t work, look at the space between the openings of the tin and where the frost is forming, tap in the middle of those two lines and the shaker will open. Never open it upside down, when shaking a drink, you strain from metal and never tap the lip of the tin on the bar to open it, aside from being bad form, it is pathetic, and when I see a man do it, I wish him dead. But I digress, when straining for metal (only after shaking) use a Hawthorne strainer. Don’t let the drink sit too long and don’t pour it into something else first (you loose the bubbles), the point of shaking to quote harry Cradock is to “consume the cocktail while all of the bubbles are still laughing at you.”
The zest: use a channel knife or a y peeler to cut a zest above the glass, so that the oils spring onto the surface of the drink and the glass itself. When using a channel knife, twice around the lemon is proper, the y peeler, and the length of the lemon. Twist the zest over that glass and drop it in.
My favorite way to make the drink is to use a very citric or high proof gin like martin miller’s, a vegetal style potato vodka like luksosowa or Chopin and I always go heavy on the Lillet, even though the recipe says “splash” that was when drinks were smaller, so I feel that .5 is acceptable its important to use Lillet Blanc and keep it fresh. Lillet rouge is a clone of Dubbonet much as Dubbonet Blanc is a clone of Lillet Blanc. Lillet is wine based and will go bad and visibly oxidize at room temperature; after it is opened it needs to be refrigerated.
Simply put by a my Boston style bar guide:
Vesper Cocktail Recipe
1.5 oz Gin
.5 oz Vodka
.25 Lillet Blanc
Twist of lemon
Strain into a cocktail glass
Vodka: an introduction on how to think of it, or Sydney Frank is the Devil*
Dallas Taylor said to me once, “It’s really all just flavored vodka.” This is a somewhat true but very Zen approach to tending bar. Sometimes when I’m on my high horse riding around in my ivory tower I say “Vodka is the greatest marketing scam ever.” Zane Harris, is more accurate and mature when he says, “Vodka is miss-understood.” Here is why we are all correct. Without burdening you with specific measurements and charts, generally speaking, all liquor starts off as vodka. Vodka is by definition a spirit that is intended to have no flavor, a “grain neutral spirit” as it were. We distill it and filter it to be flavorless and add water to it to bring it down to bottling strength to keep it flavorless. So when you distill grain to 190 proof and cut it with water that’s vodka, if you don’t really distill it that high, leaving some flavor in, throw it in a wooden cask for a few years, that pretty much whiskey. Or you could instead distill in a little juniper and citrus, and its gin. Like I said, these are generalities, but let it color your thinking.
So that’s Dallas, Here is why I’m right, vodka companies market to you purity, style, and sophistication. In reality, many vodka companies just buy industrial alcohol, filter it and add water, they then tell you that it was made by an artist, they tell you it tastes good** and that drinking it will get you laid. I assure you that those would be at best correlative coincidences, not causal effects. Even worse some vodka companies (remaining nameless) buy all of their products from other countries and bottle them in their country to sound more exotic.
Vodka is a bottle of lies in a box of deceit.
But which brand is the best? 42 Below from New Zealand, best air and water quality in the world, great rich soil for quality crops and they totally flew me to New Zealand to prove it and then they gave me a bunch of stuff. 42 Below Vodka, the best in the world, they paid me.
And then Zane, a better compromiser than Henry Clay, basically Zane isn’t full of hate like me. So when some one says they like Vodka, they’re really saying that you like the mixers. Though vodka does have distinct styles and flavors, most are too subtle to stand up to cocktail mixers. Zane would say: “Vodka is misunderstood.”
If someone says:
“I like vodka cocktail,”
“what do you like about them?”
most common response:
“sweet, but not too sweet, fruity or vodka soda.”
Which in translation means:
“I like sugar, but still make a balanced drink, likely not all booze (because I am a woman) but I drink vodka sodas because of an old article from Cosmo.”
So what you should do:
“Well there are a few drinks I could recommend, the Last Word is on the tart side, The Vesper is on the strong yet soft side (a cocktail for a vodka tonic drinker) or perhaps the White Lady or The Corpse Reviver #2. All of these are basic classics that you should be able to get anywhere.”
Theses drinks are also all gin based*** but jump off that bridge later.
Perhaps you noticed a sexist remark in that exchange, that’s because I will talk with a lady who says she likes vodka, they are to be treated better than men. However, a dude that says that is an ass clown. What? What is wrong with whiskey little boy? Look, drink what you want BUT a dude that says he likes vodka should be abused unless he has a thick accent and makes reference to vodka being in his baby bottle when he was born. I make fun of vodka drinkers a lot but some people DO LIGITIMATELY LIKE THE FLAVOUR, but they do so chilled, or on ice, or with caviar (as if that happens often, but it is spectacular) which brings us to:
Lets instead enjoy vodka as a crisp clean kangaroo kicker, or on the rocks, or chilled ice cold, or as a mixer itself, used to soothe flavors from other strong liquors. A large part of the world does love vodka but they are bereft of shitty marketing. Unless they are from New Zealand and are able to watch really awesome 42 Below ads**wink wink** However vodka aficionados will know the distinct styles and mouth feels of vodka. Those being:
Polish, definitely the origin of the spirit, the word and not made of potatoes. The spirit distilled as vodka with a still is first on the books around 1405. Potatoes are new world, the white man new not of them for another 200 ish years. But long before either of those the Polish would freeze wine or beer and skim the hard alcohol off the top like so many college students. For trivia, wodka, as Eson Checkov would say is the Polish word for Vodka and also for water. Most Polish Vodkas are made of rye and have a creamy hints of bread. And because of the Vodkas being rye, the Polish don’t sweeten their Vodkas.
The Russians: what is there to say other than, well, it wasn’t them first, Russians normally make Vodka from wheat (sweetened slightly with honey) and that Stoli is an American company. The Russians do say that Theodore Lowitz invented charcoal filtration, from what I can tell that’s a lot like saying Edison invented the light bulb or Ford invented the car.****
To simplify: Vodka can be (and is) made out of anything and though there are
generalized regional examples of styles here is a cheat sheet for flavors:
-Barley- nutty, spicy
-Rye – nutty, sweetness
-Wheat – aniseedy
-Potato- vegetal notes, smooth mouthfeel
Flavored vodka is the polyester of the booze world. Raspberries aren’t blue and how can something taste like an orange and not be orange? Oranges are called orange because they are orange, right? Though there are exceptions, most flavored vodkas have never been in the same room with the flavor they claim to imitate. Those know to me are a recent Sky infusion line and Hangar One. But that’s about it. If you go to whole foods and drink flavored vodka (chemical booze) you are indeed an oxy moron. If you want vodka to taste like something get a bottle of 42 Below, and some food or herbs (better if its both, combine them in bottle, done.
*Sydney Frank launched Grey Goose Vodka and priced it high so that you thought it would be better. If you ever pay over $30 for a bottle of vodka it is his fault. But I am a big fan of this letter (from Grey Goose) that explains how they don’t care about France at all
**I catch myself doing this all the time and have to try not to “NEVER TELL ANYONE WHAT SOMETHING TASTES LIKE BEFORE THEY TASTE IT.” Aside from being incredibly rude, it robs the taster of an objective opinion. I test myself frequently, blindly (I have a lot of spare time) to maintain a true palate free from the marketing devil and perceived value.
*** So for gin I offer you this: gin is not the devil. Gin is called the devil because its not cool to drink what your parents drank, because human’s self destructive capabilities knew no bounds (research the London gin epidemic) and because any cheap spirit tastes awful. I wasn’t drinking the good stuff in college either. Try it again, the new grown up you will be ok now. Don’t believe me? Many of the world’s best bartenders frequently offer to substitute gin for what we call ”juniper and citrus infused vodka” only to hear “this is the best lemondrop I ever had.” We are a sneaky subversive and sometimes piratical bunch us bartenders are. For gin I might suggest Martin Miller’s, pretty tasty on its own but crisp and strong enough to stay alive in cocktails. They took me out to dinner one time.
Do you have a gin allergy? Probably not, is questionable if people with Celiac Disease (wheat allergy) react to liquor, I’m not a doctor but I have served many not dead people too many wheat based vodkas (most are) or whiskies only to see effects not dissimilar to drunkenness or hangovers. Most juniper allergies are pollen based, furthermore basic gins frequently contain: aniseed, caraway, cardamom, fennel or coriander seed, cinnamon, cloves, calamus root, licorice, orris root, sloe berries, juniper berries, nutmeg, orange or lemon peel to name a few. Being allergic to some of these things could mean you have a gin allergy, however they are only the smallest amount by volume of gin and you’d likely know because at this point you’d just be allergic to Christmas, all of Scandinavia, much of France or Germany and by proxy: food
Don’t be a baby.
***They didn’t invent these things they invented the best most easily manufactured: the winners
You aren’t a bar unless you have bitters. That’s a like a kitchen without spices or sex with only that missionary position. Bitters are to cocktails what fire is to steak, but even more so. Steak tartare is delicious but technically, a cocktail is a spirit with bitters. To have a bar, you need Angostura, second are Peychaud’s, and third are orange bitters. After you see what those do for you cocktails, you’ll likely go batshit crazy collecting them like any bartender, then, you’re going to start making them. Before we go any further with bitters there are a three very important things to understand.
1. Bitters aren’t necessarily bitter and frequently they add sweetness to a cocktail. “But why are the called bitter?” good question reader, the etymology of “bitters” comes from “small concentrated drink.” Which brings up part 2
2. There are basically 2 types of bitters, this is more an FDA definition but I will list exceptions later. They are potable and non potable bitters. The easiest way to explain that is there are bitters that are generally low proof and meant to be drank as aperitifs or digestifs. And non potable bitters, these are meant as food or drink additives, and not intended to be drank alone, it could cause injury to your face. This is the one we’ll be focusing on.
3. Bitters also have two brothers named tinctures and essences. While bitters are concentrated mixtures, tinctures are high proof alcohol infused with a single flavor. The easiest way to make bitters is by mixing tinctures. An essence is one of two things, either the direct extract or the distillation of a single substance. Rose flower water, orange flower water or vanilla extract are the most common, but I have a prize in my collection that is the essence of Thai water beetle. I’ve also tasted some amazing wood (sandal wood, pine) distillations.
Angostura is paramount, dive bars have angostura, and your mom has angostura. Seriously, look in the pantry at your mom’s house, it’s there. Angostura is the most common bitters, you could say, they won the bitters’ war. Over a hundred years ago there were over a hundred commonly found bitters on the market. Though several have been reverse engineered by new modern bartenders (such as Robert Hess with Abbotts bitters and Jamie Boudreau with Bokers) Angostura remains steeped in mystery, as it’s a secret recipe. I did however make the recipe listed in Charles Baker’s The Gentleman’s Companion. It’s pretty accurate, so much so that when I made it I found that I had basically a lifetime supply. That recipe will be listed below. The real Angostura was invented in 1820, by Dr Johan Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert. It was invented to be used as a tonic to help the tummy. And it still does that for me today when I work long shifts in the summer heat and need to drink a lot of water with out hurting my tummy. That is the closest I’ve ever come to fighting off malaria and fighting for independence in 1821, in Venezuela (Angostura’s original purpose). Angostura tastes of cinchona, ginger cinnamon and cloves. I have been told that the over sized label was a mistake that was never fixed and later became tradition.
Angostura’s has stayed an essential behind the bar for “bar ginger” and the Manhattan. Bar ginger, is basically Sprite and Angostura; you can spice it up with a little muddled ginger, coke and fresh lime. The Manhattan is pretty much the best drink, and I’m going to take a minute to set two huge myths straight. Bitters don’t make a Manhattan bitter; Angostura adds spice and takes off the sweet edge of vermouth. Vermouth is nothing to fear either; a good Manhattan is 1/3 Vermouth. When a Manhattan tastes bitter, it’s because of the lack of vermouth. The water from the dilution masks the sweet notes in bourbon and rye. The higher the proof, generally the less sweet. An exception is the sentence I hear the often “I’ll have a Maker’s Manhattan, not too sweet.” Well then DON’T FUCKING ORDER MAKER’S! Understand when you say that you have become a brand whore. Outside of McCormick or Old Crow, Maker’s is a sweet bourbon. If you don’t want a sweet Manhattan, order a Manhattan with a dryer bourbon. Sorry about the rant, I just want you to get what you like. Angostura also stains clothes like nothing else can, makes your tummy feel better when drank with water or soda and cures the hiccups. The next time you hiccup, put 2 dashes of Angostura on a lemon and bite down, this works 90% to all of the time. Curing hiccups is really important because all credibility is lost when you hiccup during conversation.
Peychaud’s remains in bars because of the Sazerac, though the Sazerac is becoming a staple cocktail again, Peychaud’s still remains under used. And though others may be older, Peychaud’s was likely the one of the first bitters to be sold commercially, and internationally in 1840. Antoine Paychaud Senior invented it, though Jr made it famous and the necessary ingredient for the Sazerac Coffeehouse’s signature cocktail: the Sazerac. Like many early medicines, Peychaud’s was mixed with brandy as a stomach tonic. And perhaps similar to any medicine, it treats symptoms just as much as anything. Peychaud’s is very complex, it lightly tastes of vanilla and nuts, and there is a light anise flavor. Its bright red color adds fun to any cocktail, especially clear cocktails. Anytime you learn a classic like the Sazerac, try to learn another drink that time forgot like the Incognito, recipe below.
Orange bitters are the bitters of the original martini, assuming the original martini was the Martinez. I use Gary Regan’s Orange Bitters. Gary doesn’t care if you know the recipe to his bitters, he puts them in his book: The Joy of Mixology. But frankly, I like having a photo of that crazy beard on a bottle behind my bar. Orange bitters are very subtle, as such; I sneak them into drinks all the time, Lemondrops, Manhattans or Vespers.
While I try not to write too much about just me, when my interest in bitters spiked, I decided to start making my own. You’ll find most recipes require over a month and a great deal of preparation, for example Artofdrink.com has an excellent page listing standard bitters recipes, as does the back of David Wondrich’s Imbibe! If you are interested in making your own bitters the main advice I’d give you is to team up with others. Over the summer, I invited 15 other bartenders to all make their own bitters and exchange them at what I called the “Bitter Meeting.” This is a great way to get more bitters and learn more about making bitters without spending years practicing and having more than you’ll ever need. This is a sewing circle for bartenders, but let’s face it, making your own bitters is the core of cocktail nerd times. As for filtering, I do the chinois strainer then put bitters through a Britta filter. If you are in Seattle, I recommend Tenzing MoMo in the Pike Place Market to pick up anything you need to make bitters. Where to put them? Try specialty bottle.com . I’d recommend getting all of the bitters you can buy, and then trying to make everything you can’t buy. The reigning king of bitters and tinctures right now is the Tear Drop Lounge in Portland Oregon. They have over 50 different bitters and tinctures on the bar.
Aforementioned Drink Recipes
The Peach Monster - Phil Ward of Death and Company
2 oz Oban 14 Single Malt
.75 oz St Germain
4 Dashes Peychaud’s
Stir and strain
Incognito- Invented by J. E. Johnson
1 oz brandy
2 oz Lillet
.5 oz apricot brandy
1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
Stir and strain
Rinse rocks glass with absinthe
1.5 ounce rye whiskey
.25 simple syrup
2 dashes Peychaud’s
Stir and strain twist of lemon
The Martinez Cocktail Variation
1.5 oz gin
1 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz maraschino liqueur
1 dash orange bitters
Stir and strain
And one from me:
SPF 10 (a mocktail)-Andrew Bohrer
6 oz Aloe
2 oz lime
1 oz orange
4 dashes Peychaud’s
Build over ice in a Collins glass
(FYI: a drachm is 1/8 of an ounce, or 60 grains)
Cinchona bark, 8 drachms
Orange peel 2 drachms
Lemon peel 2 drachms
Cardamom seeds, crushed 1/2 drachm
Chaomile flowers, 2 drachms
Bark cinnamon, 1/2 drachm
Raisins 1/4 lb.
Best grain alcohol 2 qts
Best grain alcohol 2 qts
All ingredients must be ground or pounded fine except the raisins, and these are first chopped fine, and then mixed thoroughly with everything else. Seal tightly in a 2 qt jar and pour enough of the finest grain alcohol obtainable, to fill-, which will be a scant 2 qts. Let stand at an even, fairly warm temperature for 6 weeks, stirring or shaking vigorously twice every day. Strain, then strain through a cloth; pressing at the last to extract essentials from the sediment. Stir and strain once more, and bottle for use. Andrew’s notes, I also tried using Tokay wine instead of Raisins, I liked the texture more, I also used a rum base. When I finished and I found the recipe too close to Angostura, I added, orange, lemon, beets, smoked tea, lavender and hibiscus.
Gary Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 5
8 oz Dried Orange Peel
.5 tsp Caraway Seeds
1 tsp Cardamom Seeds
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Quassia Chips
1.5 tsp Powdered Cinchona Bark
1/4 tsp Gentian
2 Cups Grain Alcohol
4.5 Cups Water
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large jar with alcohol and cup water
2. Ensure all of the dry ingredients are covered by the liquid
3. Shake the jar vigorously once a day for fourteen days
4. Strain the alcohol from the dry ingredients through a cheesecloth
5. Squeeze the cheese cloth tightly to extract as much alcohol as possible
6. Place the dry ingredients in a strong bowl or mortar
7. Reserve the alcohol in a clean mason jar and seal tightly
8. Muddle the dry ingredients with a pestle the seeds are broken.
9. Place the dry ingredients in a nonreactive saucepan and cover with 3 cups of water.
10. Bring to a boil over a medium-high heat, cover, turn the heat down, and simmer for 10 minutes.
11. Allow to cool, still covered (about 1 hour).
12 Return the dry ingredients and water to the jar with the alcohol and seal
13. Leave for seven days, shaking vigorously once a day.
14. Strain the water from the dry ingredients through a cheesecloth.
15. Discard the dry ingredients and add the water to the alcohol.
16. Put sugar saucepan and place over a medium-high heat.
17. Stir constantly until the sugar becomes liquid and turns dark brown
18. Remove from heat and allow to cool for two minutes
19. Pour the sugar into the alcohol-and-water mixture
20. At this point the sugar may solidify, but it will quickly dissolve
21. Allow the mixture to stand for seven days.
22. Skim off any bits that float to the surface and carefully decant the clear liquid to separate it from any sediment resting on the bottom
23. Measure the bitters; there should be about 12 fluid ounces
24. Add 6 ounces of water, and shake thoroughly
25. Pour the bitters into a bitters bottle. Store for up to twelve months
So I was in a conversation with what will continue to be an unnamed bartender from a very exclusive French joint, and he was explaining the high-end fuck buddies that he cultivates through his position. Less than 2 sentences later, he slammed his fist on the table and said, “Why do people shoot Chartreuse? It is to be sipped, slowly, and appreciated after a meal.” I bring this up to illustrate that Chartreuse is mysterious and frequently confusing.
Another mysterious thing about chartreuse are the myths perpetuated about it, why would people spurt random things about it while holding a bottle that says otherwise, to make a rule right now, read any and every bottle before you drink it. Info you’ll find on the bottle (listing only the true things): Chartruese is an intensely herbal 110 proof liqueurs made near Grenoble France from 130 herbs according to a recipe from 1605. In America it is sold in 4 varieties a green, a yellow, which is sweeter and milder, and an aged version of each bottle that is called V.E.P. The secret recipe is never known by more than 3 monks at a time and is protected by their vow of silence.
There is much more information on the bottle, but that information is incomplete or misleading. First I’ll list the bottlings before I explain the rest. There are 5 bottlings, 1 of which is not imported into America.
1: Green Chartreuse 110 proof
2: Yellow Chartreuse 80 proof
3: Green Chartreuse VEP (Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé)
4: Yellow Chartreuse VEP (Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé)
5: Elixir Végétal de la Grande-Chartreuse 142 proof
The elixir is not sold in America and is basically green in its original non-bottle strength form. Sometimes people say there are 2 chartreuses sometimes 4, what’s important: there are 5 different bottlings.
Next, monks do not make Chartreuse; it was, for centuries, by now it’s made by what we call “factories.” After centuries of production by monks, demand is too great for them to keep up with. The recipe however, is still blended secretly by monks. 1605, that’s also kind of true, the monks were gifted the marshal of King Henri IV, Francois d’Estrees. This elixir for long life wasn’t perfected and put into production until 1737. So it’s not really 400 years old. Bother Brother Gérome Maubec was the brother who made this public. 1838 brought Yellow Chartreuse to the market; its sweet flavor is very similar to that of Licore Strega. Chartreuse’s production has twice been halted, in 1793 and 1903. This was because of the French revolution and later the government seized their land and exiled the monks to Spain where they continued production until they were allowed back in 1935. It is said during this time, the monks’ brandy reserves, (dating back to Napoleon) were all destroyed. But it’s all roses and sunshine for the brothers now, even with no add campaign outside of death proof by Quentin Tarantino, Chartreuse is selling better than ever.
That’s probably enough fact checking. To make Chartreuse make more sense, some of the generally assumed ingredients are: sweet flag, orange peel, peppermint oil, hyssop, balm, angelica, tonka bean, wormwood, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and mace. Though some of those ingredients are considered poisonous, the monks did indeed consider this an elixir for long life. I have had an opportunity to take a bug tug off of the tiny bottle of chartreuse elixir, unlike almost all liquor I’ve tasted of that proof the flavor is distinct and moreover life changing. Honestly, it felt like god was using a pepper grinder at the base of my skull, I began to sweat immediately and lights were created halos around non-moving objects. I can’t recommend this enough.
As for the general flavors for chartreuse it’s the opposite of what you would call diplomatic. However, it enhances many flavors, it pairs very well with coffee, chocolate and stone fruits. It’s also a test; I have overheard many bartenders say, “No, you don’t mix chartreuse.” I have heard this said of single malt scotch, anejo tequila, fernet branca, or anything confusing or difficult to understand. This is a cop out; there are only three reasons to not mix anything, 1. If you can’t afford it, if you can’t handle fucking up a $400 sidecar, don’t. Which leads to 2. If you don’t have the skill, and then very rare 3. If you are mixing with something that will never be available again. It bet you can wake a great Bobby Burns with Port Ellen scotch, but that distillery doesn’t exist anymore, you may not mix with it. That’s the test, can you mix? Or do you not even try?
Here are a few Cocktails for you
The earliest I have it is the Savoy Cocktail Book 1930, Unaccredited
.75 Yellow Chartreuse
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir and strain into a cocktail glass
The Last Word- Detroit Athletic Cub, Before 1951
Shake and strain
And one from me
Penelope’s Pit stop
1.5 El Tesoro Platinum Tequila
.5 Yellow Chartreuse
.5 lemon juice
.25 of a muddled pear
At present, eggs aren’t part of standard bar service, but by the time I finish this book they could be. After leaving tales of the cocktail, I feel that it’s a good time to get people hyped on drinking chickens.
I was introduced to egg whites in cocktails by reading the gentleman’s companion. Unfortunately, I worked in college and did not spring break in peru and chile. Though I have found that schwhag swilling spring breakers have brought this classic cocktail back to north America. If I can thank date raping backwards cap wearing frat boys for anything, it would be that. But you know who else I’ll thank? Old people, old people remember when drinkers trusted bartenders, to well, make go drinks. Still, egg whites are complicated to get people to drink as well as to just mix with. That being said, the biggest obstacle, bigger than any technique, is getting over fear. The fear has a name, Mr Salmonela J. Vomits and Pukes.
You are going to die. It’s important to understand that to be a healthy normal person. You are going to die, but its not going to be from drinking egg whites. Here are the facts on salmonela, you just aren’t going to get it from eggs, the odds are way off, I’ll take all bets. One in twenty thousand eggs contain the so feared bacteria, making the odd of your exposure extremely low, once per every 42 years of egg consuming. Furthermore, just because an egg contains this bacteria doesn’t mean that it will be contracted. And if you are really worried, ask the health department, they will likely tell you that bean sprouts and green peppers are the biggest culprits. Most bacteria that would be on an egg is indeed on the shell, a simple dunk in hot water or spritz with vodka kills most things. And furthermore, 8% alcohol kills salmonella, if you make a drink with that little booze you can just fuck right off. And on top of that a ph of less than 5 kills salmonella, I understand almost all fruit fits into that category.
To address freshness, American eggs are packed with 2 dates, the Jullian date (numbers I through 365 showing which day food was processed) and the sell by date. The sell by date is 48 days from the pack date, for the freshest date go for eggs that are less than 28 days old. For the freshest eggs, get a chicken. Don’t get a rooster, roosters are for baristas or soccer moms or anyone else who likes to get up at the crack of dawn. For me, I could get a rooster once a week and kill it every week for annoying me. Visit a farm: learn to hate roosters.
To address “grossness,” first off, I triple dog dare you to read the ingredients on any of your favorite foods. If you’ve read the “Jungle” or “Fast Food Nation,” you’ll know what I mean. But wait, whats that? You shop at whole foods and only use all natural products? Well, people are slipping you eggwhites everyday like lies about the tooth fairy to children. Custard, merengues, crème brulee, eggs benedict, gomme syrup sour mix, these all have uncooked egg bits, and with the exception of the last one, are all delicious.
But the real point here isn’t food safety or poultry slamming (that’s Ira Glass’ job),the point is the drinking. I’ve always said that eggs adds a texture and a mouth feel that carry flavours throughout the mouth very well. Then I saw a woman suck the prairie oyster cocktail off a dude’s stomach and I realized that she was more accurate when called egg cocktails “sexy.” Hot and sexy or traditional and lost arts (all?) egg cocktails are amazing and need to be experienced. Many recipes you’ll find for egg whites are from the moldy old tomes with bizarre measurements. Dave Wondrich points out in the book Imbibe! that eggs like modern people are bigger than they used to be. But frequently so are drinks. Most modern drinks are going to be twice the size of their fore fathers. Being that a useful egg white is flavourless all you really need to be cautious of is not using so much that it dilutes other flavours.
The drink recipes you’ll encounter in the old tomes will fall into categories, mostly noted in the name of the drink, such was the style at the time. If you ask me, I’ll rant a while and say that cocktails are intimidating because “the family” isn’t in the title anymore. That being said, you’ll find sours,: a spirit that has a sweetener, lemon and or lime and an egg white, shaken, strained and up. Yes, a whiskey sour, an ameretto sour and a pisco sour are all supposed to have egg whites. You’ll read about flips: a whole egg, shaken and stained. Perhaps you remember egg nog, with cream. Or heard of a fizz: when you have a white and add carbonation. The Ramos Gin Fizz being the most popular, like drinking a cloud, you haven’t made it right unless you almost pass out after shaking it as hard as you can. I understand platoons of young me were hired to shake them in the past, up to 12 guys, one minute each per drink. And if you’re from the british isles perhaps a possett: egg yolks, (insert booze of choice) cream and spices super heated with a red hot cherry poker. People still drink them at Scottish weddings but they were very popular 400 years ago.
But these days, you’ll be doing mostly flips and sours. There is veritably an egg revolution in cocktail bars, each bar having there own technique. Rather than list them all (which I can’t) I’ll offer the 3 techniques that I’ve found the most useful.
1 and 2: The dry shake. If you shake a drink with normal ice from a freezer or regular ice machine, you’ll find that you can melt half of its volume in a couple minutes. Meaning: yes, you shake a drink hard, but the longer you do it, the greater the potential to serve watery booze and that’s no way to win friends. The dry shake I’ve best seen executed two ways, measuring all ingredients and placing the spring from a hawthorne strainer in the shaker, shake vigorously then add ice, shake quickly and done. Easier is to get a frother, a battery powered dirnk mixer that will blend the eggs in the glass, then add ice and shake. Sadly, I have done the “john Henry challenge” with the frother and, I have lost. But, its cooler to do it by hand.
3. On a molecular level, alcohol and acid (fruit or vinegar) break an egg down and sugar emulsifies it. So, when time is not an issue, add the egg to the booze and acid, shake or froth, this will break down the egg’s molecular structure. Then add sugar and mix again, this puts it all back together in a tidy fluffy cloud of joy. The new mixture is less likely to separate.
Oh, and 3.5: When cleaning up after egg drinks, use cold water. Hot water will “scramble” the eggs right on the glass.
Some cocktails for you
Ramos Gin Fizz- Henry C Ramos 1888
1 lemon juice
.5 simple syrup
1 egg white
1 dash orange flower water
shake and strain into a Collins glass and top with soda
White Lady – (a sour) – Harry MacElhone 1919
I egg white
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass
Lord of Carlisle’s Sack-Posset-Sir Kenelm Digby 1671
Take a pottle of Cream, and boil in it a little whole Cinnamon, and three or four flakes of Mace. To this proportion of Cream put in eighteen yolks of eggs, and eight of the whites; a pint of Sack; beat your eggs very well, and then mingle them with your Sack. Put in three quarters of a pound of Sugar into the Wine and Eggs, with a Nutmeg grated, and a little beaten Cinnamon; set the Bason on the fire with the Wine and Eggs, and let it be hot. Then put in the Cream boiling from the fire, pour it on high, but stir it not; cover it with a dish, and when it is settlede, strew on the top a little fine Sugar mingled with three grains of Ambergreece, and one grain of Musk, and serve it up.
Campari is where it started for me (and Larry Flynt). On my first solo bar shift I took down all of the bottles I didn’t know and tasted them, and I don’t think its surprising for an American boy to make to 24 years or until the viewing of The Life Aquatic to meet Campari (Steve Zissou orders up Campari from his interns, the interns confirm, “rocks?”). Actually, thanks to Salma Heyek’s, “Hotel Campari” add campaign, men may be introduced to Campari at a younger age. But more about me, with the first sip, I was shocked and seduced, I have never looked back, the first cocktail I ever invented (later that shift) was in honor of The Life Aquatic, the Esteban, equal parts vodka, lemon, Grand Marnier, with a 1oz sinker of Campari that was to be his blood, garnished with a wedge of lemon, sprinkled with cinnamon. And this drink that did not catch on, is the principal example of why new bartenders should be forced to work slow Sunday shifts, alone and stay open until 2am. How else will you learn the history of Campari?
Gespare Campari invented, in1860, as a bittersweet 70 proof apertivo to serve to the patrons of his coffeehouse this was Campari, and the recipe we still serve today. In fits of elitism, with fists balled, I will grumble, “its not a bar if you don’t have Campari or Rye.” I’ll come back to the Rye, but Campari is recognized the world over, its only in the United States that we don’t love it. But as I said before, Salma will help. Campari was very popular in America during prohibition due to it being legal and called a digestive aid. After prohibition, it fell away to a taste for mediocrity and homogeny. What is it? Well, its bittersweet and red, otherwise it’s a secret. A sexy secret. However, it’s commonly known that some of the secret is quinine, (which comes from the bark of the Cinchona) rhubarb, ginseng, bergamot oil, Seville orange peel and ginger. And yes it is colored (along with many other products) with Cochineal. I’ll save you a trip to the Internet and go ahead and tell you that Cochineal is a little Central American cactus-eating bug. Thus, Campari is not vegetarian nor is it for the chosen people (kosher). But that’s just history, all you really need to know are Negroni, Americano, and soda.
Campari will likely be ordered one of 3.5 ways. On the rocks or with soda, is the classic Campari way, in not American its common to see pre-bottled Campari and soda. Unfortunately, in many states its illegal to sell pre mixed spirits outside of liquor stores. Shift gears momentarily to James Bond, a man who drank almost every important drink there was to drink. Among those are the other two important Campari drinks.
The Americano: Campari, sweet vermouth and soda, I will never forget the Americano, because of a story a fellow bartender told me. He had answered what we call a “cattle call,” and open call to fill a bartender position. The interviewer asked him what was in an Americano, upon answering correctly; he was told that he was the only bartender that knew the ingredients. Why? Because most bartenders are actually beertenders.
The Negroni is equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth (though, don’t be surprised to get a little extra gin). Count Camillo Negroni was real, and frequented a bar called Caffe Rivoire in Florence where he ordered an Americano with gin substituted for soda. I frequently say subbing champagne for soda is wise but in this case gin works well. Which brings another lesson, swapping two ingredients is the easiest way to make a new drink. The Old Pal for example is a dry vermouth Negroni sub bourbon for gin. Lastly, when ordered in Europe or Italian restaurants, expect to get it on the rocks due to the genealogy, whereas in America it will be served up. The Negroni is my Favorite drink, much like “crunk” is getting “drunk” up in the club, I am trying to introduce “negronked” as a term for getting drunk on fancy drinks, specifically the Negroni.
What you should have learned:
Thanks be to Salma and Steve Zissou, but more to Salma.
To be a better bartender, work lame shifts that allow you to learn at your own rate
Campari is bittersweet, not completely bitter
Campari is an apertivo, that is to say, before dinner
Serve it with orange and know :
1.5oz Sweet Vermouth
splash of club soda
Garnish: orange slice
Build over ice into a collins glass.
1.5oz sweet vermouth
Garnish: Orange Zest
stir and strain into a cocktail glass or over ice in an old fashioned glass
And here is one from me:
1oz grapefruit juice
Garnish: Rosemary sprig
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass